Almost 550,000 people visited GreenhouseGrower.com in 2017, and in doing so they read nearly 3 million items, from news stories and analysis to slideshows to timeless how-to articles.
So what were the news headlines that dominated 2017? Here’s a list of the 10 most-viewed news stories posted on GreenhouseGrower.com this year.
10. Costa Farms Will Maintain Operations “the Costa Way” With Acquisition, Says CEO Joche Smith
The Miami, FL-based, Top 100 Grower operation announced an agreement for Markel to acquire a majority interest in Costa Farms and its related companies. But the operation will continue to be run by current leadership, with the partnership Markel offers to allow it to continue to grow.
9. NatureFresh Farms Delays Expansion Due to Labor Shortage, While Pure Flavor Plans 75-Acre Build in Georgia
One of North America’s largest greenhouse tomato growers says it is holding back on an expansion because of the company’s ongoing struggle with finding workers. At the same time, another producer is planning a new 75-acre facility in Georgia.
8. Trendsetting Products and Ideas From TPIE 2017
If you’re a trend watcher, the 2017 Tropical Plant Exhibition, held in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, on January 18-20, was a can’t-miss event. In case you missed it, here are a few highlights of the cool products, trends, and ideas seen at the show.
7. Costa Farms Expands With Purchase of Indoor Houseplant Grower Delray Plants
Costa Farms announced March 10 that it has acquired Delray Plants, one of the leaders in the indoor houseplant industry. The two operations are committed to the same values, principles, and goals to grow the industry, and will fit well together to accomplish this, say Randy Gilde, CEO of Delray Plants, and Joche Smith, CEO of Costa Farms.
6. Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires
The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries retired and named a replacement.
5. Dümmen Orange Acquires McHutchison and Vaughan’s Horticulture; Here’s What it Means
Greenhouse Grower caught up with Dümmen Orange Operations Director Kate Santos and McHutchison President Mike Tizio to find out more detail on the companies’ new partnership.
4. C. Raker & Sons Acquired By Roberta’s Unique Gardens
Ownership will change hands in December, and Raker will supply young plants for the 2018 season. Beyond that, leadership of the two operations say they are excited to move forward with a partnership that will continue to supply the industry, and gardeners, with top-quality plants.
3. Two Major Growers Recovering and Rebuilding After Fires
The blazes occurred at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA, and Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, MI. Both companies say no employees were injured, and they plan to pull together and stay on schedule for the remainder of the year.
2. USDA-APHIS Bulletin on Unauthorized Distribution of Genetically Engineered Petunias
On May 2, USDA-APHIS was informed that an orange petunia variety was potentially genetically engineered and had been imported and moved interstate without required authorization by APHIS. This led to testing of numerous petunia varieties, which confirmed this particular variety and several others are genetically engineered, and meet the regulatory definition of a regulated article under APHIS regulations. APHIS continues to work with the industry to ensure unauthorized GE petunias are not distributed in the U.S.
1. Altman Plants in Escrow to Purchase EuroAmerican Propagators for Plug Connection Facility Expansion
Ken Altman, a co-owner of Altman Plants based in Vista, CA, has confirmed that the operation is currently in escrow to purchase EuroAmerican Propagators, the Bonsall, CA-based young plant and finished plant grower that filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Jan. 23, 2017.